Opinion On Military Women Essay Research Paper

Opinion On Military Women Essay, Research Paper

West 1

When comparing men’s ability to women’s ability, there is no really a big

difference. Many people believe that differences do take place, but how? Both men and

women have hopes, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Even though these

similarities exist, women are still sometimes thought to be lower than their male peers.

There have been many cases in which women felt they were being treated differently than

the males around them. But, there should never be that problem of inequality between men

and women in America’s defense system. Both men and women have the right to serve in

the military; but, many times women face discrimination and the problem of being not

accepted, possibly affecting women’s ability to serve their country.

The military was fully integrated in the mid-1970s. Yet, twenty-some years later,

women are still trying to gain full equality. In those past twenty years, there have been

many courageous women who have been fighting their way into record-breaking positions

so their male peers would accept them. Two of these women are Shannon Faulkner and

Shannon Workman. Faulkner was the first woman to become a cadet at the Citadel as she

walked through the gates on August 12, 1995. Faulkner entered the 152-year-old military

school located in South Carolina as a “knob,” or a first year cadet. Upon her arrival, the

military made exceptions to certain rules for her, one being that older male cadets could

not go through her drawers looking for underwear that was not folded properly. A private

bathroom with surveillance cameras was also constructed for Faulkner to prevent any foul

play . The second of these two women was Shannon Workman. In 1994, she became the

first woman to qualify as a female pilot who was combat ready in the Navy . Although the

military and the public recognize women like Faulkner and Workman, many women who

work to reach their goals go unrecognized. These women and others all should have the

opportunity to enter the military, with no restrictions because there is no sufficient

evidence that proves they shouldn?t.

West 2

Women have been a part of the Marine Corps since 1943; but today women make

up a mere five- percent of the Corps population. In the Navy, women were invited onto

hospital ships in 1977. Today they too make up a small portion of the system with only

ten- percent. The Air Force and the Army have the greatest percentage of women. The

Army has eleven- percent and the Air Force has fourteen- percent (Moskos 108).

Although women have been partially accepted in America’s defense system, inequality is

still found in combat areas. Legally, women are not permitted to serve in any units that

have missions in ground or front-line combat. In the army, women are not allowed to

serve in infantry, armor-force and cannon artillery force units as well as combat engineers

units (Moskos 107). There are no reasons that women should not be able to be in these

positions. If there were some evidence that proved they would hurt the mission of there

team then maybe, but that is not he case. Considering the fact that most army positions are

combat-related, what jobs would that leave to women? Well, women are generally left

with positions such as truck drivers, medics, helicopter pilots, and cafeteria staff. Women

did not enroll in the army to drive trucks. They want to defend their country in combat just

like everyone else(men) that joins the army. Although women have more possibilities in

the Air Force, they are also prohibited from being flyer fighters and bomber plane pilots

(Moskos 108). Last, in the Navy women are still prohibited from being stationed on

submarines and minesweepers. They also cannot hold the position of a Navy SEAL. A

Navy SEAL is the most elite military force known to man, and they specialize in SEa, Air

and Land, which is where they receive their name. The fact that women are not allowed to

be Navy SEALS was the basis of a movie entitled “G.I. Jane.” In this movie you can see

that because a women would like to be a Navy SEAL she must pose as a man. This means

that in order for a woman to be something that she would truly like to be she must in a

way mask her true identity. She shouldn?t have to do anything to be accepted, it should be

her natural right as an American citizen. Women do not only face a struggle in combat;

West 3

they are also striving to be seen among military ranking officers as well. Statistics show

that only twenty percent of jobs in the Marine Corps are open to women. The Army

follows with fifty-one percent. The Navy has a total of fifty-nine percent of jobs open to

women; and, the Air Force has an astonishing ninety-seven percent (Sagawa 1). This is

total discrimination, women should be available to one-hundred percent of the jobs.

Despite inequality among ranks in the military, women attain similar achievements in

academics, athletics, and military achievement. (Barringer 7). In the Army, only five

percent of its executives are women and the Marine Corps has only one woman that holds

an executive position. The reason as to why women might not hold as many executive

positions was stated in a book, “Sound Off! American Military Women Speak Out.” This

statement said that,”? women must waste the energy that men can save for their jobs or

their pleasures in proving herself in smashing stereotypes and overcoming prejudice,”

(Moskos 107). What this statement means is that because women are discriminated

against, most of their time and effort goes into trying to prove these stereotypes wrong.

Maybe if the stereotypes didn’t exist women would have a greater chance of gaining their

equality in combat and among ranks. In another report from the Naval Academy it was

stated that, “The negative attitudes are rooted in the fact that because women aren’t

allowed to hold combatant assignments, their contributions are limited. This fuels

persistent belief that women do not belong in the Academy,” (Barringer 7).

One major problem is that being not accepted is not an isolated case; women feel

not accepted throughout all the areas of the military. In a survey, forty-five percent of men

in their first year at the Naval Academy said that women did not belong there. The poll

was taken again when those men were in their senior year and thirty-eight percent still said

they felt that women did not belong at the Academy (Francake 174). Another survey given

in the military showed that only eleven to thirty-seven percent of women felt accepted

compared to the forty-eight to seventy-one percent of men who felt they were accepted.

West 4

Part of the reason that these women might feel like they do not belong is verbal abuse. The

Citadel’s spokesman described basic training as, “Hell with a purpose, knob year is a

physically and psychologically grueling continuum of five-mile runs, push-ups and

subordination to upperclassmen,” (Sack 7). During these so-called “five-mile runs,”

training leaders will tell their men that they, “?run like a bunch of women.” Or, how

about when drill sergeants refer to tired men as “women” and “pussies” (Francake 162)?

This is supposed to be a motivational tool towards men, but at the same time it is also a

put down for the women that are present. Since acceptance of women has gotten worse

every year, twice as many women resigned from the Naval Academy in 1987 then in 1976

(Barringer 7).

One of the biggest problems that is currently growing in the military is sexual

harassment. Like the problem of being not accepted sexual harassment is not an isolated

case, because it too is found in all branches of the military. Captain Hartman stated, “If

sexual harassment goes the way racism in the Navy and Marine Corps, you can expect to

have it around for a long time.” In 1989 a study at the Pentagon showed that sixty-four

percent of women said they were sexually harassed, that percent was only at forty-two

two years earlier in 1987 (McGonigle and Timms 1). Then in 1990, it was labeled that

sexual harassment was an “epidemic” because in a survey given to twenty thousand

women, two out of three said they at one time or another had unwanted advances made at

them (Francake 157). Forty-seven percent of investigated women said they had

experienced this “unwanted sexual attention.” Fifteen percent said they experienced sexual

coercion, and seven- percent had experienced sexual assault. These statistics are backed

up when Cadet Adelle Belisle stated, “We came here naive and trusting, thinking that we’d

be protected by the people around us. It was shocking. We all know cases of sexual

harassment here,” (Schmitt 13). In the Navy, it was found that fifty percent of its women

midshipmen experienced harassment at least twice a month at the Naval

West 5

Academy (Francake 173). Two examples of talked about sexual harassment cases are

founded in the Navy. One of which in 1989, Gwen Dreyer was physically removed from

her room, and brought to the men’s bathroom. There she was handcuffed to a urinal and

taunted by male peers who at the same time proceeded to take photographs of her

(Sagawa 1). A more recent case was the Tailhook Scandal in 1992. The Tailhook was the

name given to the case where twenty-six women were “mistreated” at a party in male

dorms. The Naval Academy admitted that, “Despite official policy to the contrary a

climate free of sexual harassment does not exist at the Naval Academy.” Sexual

harassment has been in the military for a long time; and finally by 1981, all branches of the

military issued their own definition of sexual harassment ranging from “unwanted sexual

advances” to “requests for sexual favors,” (Francake 157). Although many areas of the

military have different ways of controlling sexual harassment, there are one or two things

that are the same throughout the military. In order to try to cut down on sexual

harassment, no dating or sexual relationships are permitted (Schmitt 8). Men are also

required to be accompanied by female escorts when they enter women’s sleeping quarter’s

after hours (as with women in men’s quarters). Once they have entered the sleeping

quarter men must knock, announce themselves and then wait five seconds before entering

the room (Schmitt 15). The last thing is that the military would like to separate men and

women into separate housing buildings and during basic training. But, as of now, men and

women are still functioning together in co-educational units. The Navy has been trying to

recover from the recent Tailhook scandal by changing the conditions that men and women

are in together. The Navy has spent one point three million dollars on constructing private

sleeping quarters for women. Also constructed was an examination room on the sick bay,

which contains stocks of feminine products and cosmetics (Schmitt 15). Captain Gemmill

of the Navy explains that,” We probably can’t stop sexual harassment, but we can decrease

the most obvious and obnoxious kind, the foul language, leering, or touching,” (Schmitt

West 6

13). To fight against this harassment, the Navy has started what they are calling the

“bumper sticker” approach. This approach contains a green zone (go), and yellow zone

(slow down) and a red zone (stop). The “bumper sticker” approach works as follows: your

offense is classified into a zone and from there your punishment will depend on the degree

of your offense. Although the Navy believes this to be a great idea, the Army is skeptical

and an army official expresses his feelings by saying, “Oh gosh. I didn’t know saying ‘Good

Morning,’ to someone is a green zone, and I am really glad to know that rape is a red

zone,” (Dowd 11). After the Army conducted the largest investigation of sexual

harassment, they stated in a report that, “?sexual harassment exists, throughout the

Army?and the leadership is responsible.” After this investigation, drill sergeants who

came in contact with women recruits were required to have more difficult screening. Also,

three-star generals would serve as “watch-dogs” over basic training leaders at the training

centers. The Air Force, as well, has been making a conscious effort to prevent sexual

harassment. General Bradey C. Hosmer gathered five hundred and eighteen women in an

auditorium and had all of the men removed except himself. He then proceeded to tell the

women he wanted to “ground-truth on sexual harassment.” For four hours women poured

out with their concerns on sexual harassment and over fifty percent of the women said

they had known of cases of sexual harassment (Schmitt 15). Despite all of the changes in

the different areas of the military, Secretary West still admittes, “Sexual harassment

however continues to be a problem,” (Shenon 7). The military has been trying to get

women to come forth and report any cases of sexual harassment. Some women do, but

many women do not. They do not come forward for a few reasons, one being that they are

scared. Investigators reported that women do not report sexual harassment out of fear that

they would be punished instead of their tormentors. “The Army’s actions make it clear that

there is no room for sexual abuse, harassment, or discrimination in today’s military,”

(Shenon 7).

West 7

If this is so, why do percents show that in the Army alone forty-one percent of its

discharges were women (Francake 181)? Most of these discharges were found to be after

the reporting of sexual harassment. This also happened in the Air Force, when Pat Gavin

lost her eight- year career by reporting sexual misbehavior. Women were also investigated

for being homosexuals after reporting sexual harassment. When one hundred women

complained they were mistreated they went through psychiatric exams, and they too were

investigated about possibly being homosexuals. Investigation of homosexuality was also

found in the Navy. In one instance one woman reported being harassed by one of her male

peers. As a result her and six other women were discharged for being homosexuals

(McGonigle and Timms 1). When the military did this, it confused women. They tell

women to come forward with sexual harassment charges, but when women do they are

the ones who suffer by being investigated for homosexuality, having to undergo

psychiatric testing, or even worse, being discharged. How could they ever expect things to

change with consequences like these that women have to possibly face.

Overall, women have been a part of the military for a long time. And, for a long

time they have been not accepted, harassed, and thought to be unequal. Inside women are

the same as men, and if they want to be in the military they should be able to. They should

also be able to have equal rights, and be permitted to hold the same jobs and ranks. If a

women can prove that she an do everything that a man can do, even-though she shouldn?t

have to, then she should have an equal opportunity in the military. There have been and

there still are people that are fighting for equal rights for women. But, as of now it still

remains a problem. The military must realize that there is not a difference between men

and women besides what the human eye can see.


Все материалы в разделе "Иностранный язык"

ДОБАВИТЬ КОММЕНТАРИЙ  [можно без регистрации]
перед публикацией все комментарии рассматриваются модератором сайта - спам опубликован не будет

Ваше имя:


Хотите опубликовать свою статью или создать цикл из статей и лекций?
Это очень просто – нужна только регистрация на сайте.

Copyright © MirZnanii.com 2015-2018. All rigths reserved.